Harnessing the power of relationships was the smartest thing Nina Lee did when she started her career.
Currently Senior Director of Communications for The Oriel Company, Lee’s responsibilities include working with music’s biggest rising stars, including 2 Chainz, Joji, Channel Tres and UPSAHL. “Handler” is the simplest term to describe the work of a publicist, but the truth is, publicists are miracle workers for artists. Their work ranges from pitching to media outlets and writing about upcoming gigs to promoting the artist’s first-ever Grammy campaign. Red includes a variety of tasks, from booking a car to hosting an attractive team, coordinating after-his parties, presenting suites, and more, creating press releases for him, approving photos, and more. will be Dozens of campaigns run simultaneously. This means that each publicist must be attentive, organized, and creative at all times. “Our job is to connect the dots between what’s happening in the culture and the client’s mission,” Lee says. “How can I tell my story and reach new audiences?”
The job of a publicist can be demanding, but Lee finds a certain fulfillment in the job. An Asian-American woman in a male-dominated music industry, she has had to give in to the fact that there aren’t many people like her in her work: 52% of artist publicists are white. Women are underrepresented According to USC Annenberg’s 2021 report, women make up only 12%. Nonetheless, finding her place as an executive at a female-founded and led agency like Oriel Her Company has not only broken Lee’s “glass ceiling”, but her I was able to extend my mission beyond myself. “The company steps up during difficult times to provide us with a safe place to create positive change outside of just ‘work’ that impacts the larger community,” she said proudly. He added that the agency’s focus on teamwork has been a determining factor in its success as a publicist and as an artist. Collaboration is highly valued, which allows Lee and her team to do their best. “I love the energy of impromptu brainstorming,” she continues. “It’s a chance to stretch your brain and collaborate while experiencing different perspectives. It’s also one of the most equal parts of the job for her.”
“Knowing what artists do always helps us create better campaigns. Get to know your artists — ask questions!”
How would you describe your job in 3 words to someone you don’t know?
strategic creative idea.
Tell us about a day in your work life.
There is no day to cut and paste. There are always media miracles to facilitate, and flexibility is key. Schedules and schedules change!
I like to start my day with a clean slate. Wake up and browse my inbox to make sure there aren’t any fires that need to be put out immediately. There are several newsletters and websites that I check every morning. I’ve found that some newsletters help me digest the past 24-48 hours of news in a delicious way.
As publicists, we wear many hats. We leverage our long-standing relationships with media, TV bookers, producers, podcasters, fashion houses, brands and more to create awareness and recognition for our clients. Our goal is to provide information in the most effective, creative, exciting and meaningful way. Some days are photo shoots with clients, Tiny Desk tapings, remote work, back-to-back conference calls. Some days are spent.
Ultimately, pitching is my main gig. Whether it’s broadcast, national, online or local media, sending emails, calling and knocking on their doors is paramount. Our work involves a lot of clear communication, attention to detail, and follow-up (“Hello! Check the notes below!”). This job really makes you feel good.
I have worked extensively with many artists in different genres. Does sound make a big difference in how you approach each artist?
We learn the ins and outs of genre-focused media outlets, niche online communities, and tastemakers in the field, but it’s always important to know why artists are doing what they do. It helps us create better campaigns for Get to know our artists — ask questions!
You work with both established and emerging artists. Does the process differ depending on where the artist is in their career?
Together with up-and-coming artists, we would like to build a foundation and relationship of trust with the media. It’s all about finding champions who take a grassroots approach and listen to your artist’s music and pass it on to others.
For experienced and veteran artists, it’s a balance of navigating an ever-changing media landscape while staying grounded. This may mean being more selective about the types of interviews you pursue. The media is dynamic, and some of the “winning” coverage that was used to “move the needle” may no longer be. Obviously this is a simplified version of the role. Both types of campaigns have rewards and challenges.
Did you want the career you have now? Did school get you on this path?
I moved to New York when I was 17 and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I studied journalism and linguistics at New York University. While there, I quickly learned that the city was my campus. And dabbling in hobbies/interests like going to concerts and exploring local haunts was pushing me in the right direction in terms of a career path. held. Most of it was record labels, but also fashion for his PR firm for menswear).
What are the first steps a young person needs to take to enter a music career as a publicist?
Please understand that publicity is not a job. it’s a lifestyle. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true! Train your ears by being passionate, listening to lots of music of all genres, and attending as many shows as possible.
What are some of the first lessons or work ethics you learned after working in the music industry and publicity in general?
Attention to detail is important. Be proud to work for and talk about artists you believe in. Be honest with your expectations and say “please” and “thank you.”
What is it about your job that most people find unexpected or surprising?
Artists are human and not all press is good press.
“The media is dynamic, and some of the press that used to ‘win’ to ‘move the needle’ may no longer be. ”
Do you have any tips for a long-lasting career in this industry?
Be a leader. Use your expertise, experience and voice to amplify and empower others. Stay connected and keep your cool. Find inspiration wherever you are and pay attention to synaptic stimuli, whether it’s a new restaurant you’re obsessed with, a New Yorker crossword puzzle, or a haunting TikTok.
What habits do you follow regularly to maintain good headspace for work?
Take a walk, listen to music, drink plenty of water.
What are the holidays like for you?
I read, try new restaurants (tell me where to get the best donuts in Brooklyn!), and watch Bravo TV shows.
If you weren’t working in music, what would you like to be doing?
So many ideas: YA fiction novelist, chef, professor, dance teacher…the possibilities are endless.
Stay tuned for more features from music industry professionals, from managers to sound engineers to stagehands and more. People who let the world of music spin without standing behind the mic.